Objective Stroke awareness among the general public is considered beneficial for improving stroke prevention and rapid responses to stroke onset.
Methods An internet-based questionnaire survey designed to assess the degree of understanding of strokes was administered to over 10,000 people ≥20 years of age from across Japan between November 8 to 11, 2010.
Results Valid responses were obtained from 11,121 persons aged 44.8±13.1 years. Only 10.3% of the respondents answered that they had a good understanding of what sort of disease stroke is, and only 33.8% responded that they had access to information on strokes; these proportions increased with age. The information sources included television (85.2%) and newspapers (34.1%), with newspaper use increasing with age. Among the respondents, 95.5% recognized speech disturbance and 89.5% recognized hemiplegia as symptoms of stroke; however, only 2.3% stated that they could confidently identify stroke occurrence. For responses to stroke onset, 67.0% of the responders stated that they would call an ambulance, compared to only 22.4% for transient ischemic attacks. In both cases, the proportions were higher among older respondents. A logistic regression analysis showed that the factors contributing to recommending early transportation by ambulance were knowledge of stroke symptoms (odds ratio (OR): 1.579; p=0.00), knowledge of stroke risk factors (OR: 1.294; p=0.00) and experience of living with stroke patients (OR: 1.374; p=0.00).
Conclusion Although the survey was conducted over the internet and the respondents may have tended to be relatively young, knowledge of strokes and understanding of the correct actions to take were higher among the older respondents. Overall, the knowledge of strokes was considered to be insufficient.
2013 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine